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3 Disruptive Stocks to Buy Before You Invest in Cryptocurrency

Key Points

  • Payments giant Fiserv has touch points with almost 100% of U.S. households.
  • Unity serves over 1.5 million game developers, and the metaverse presents a potentially enormous opportunity.
  • Database innovator MongoDB could have a $121 billion opportunity in front of it by 2025.

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While some cryptocurrencies make it big, most of them don't. But these three stocks have a proven track record of success.

2021 was a breakout year for cryptocurrencies, with the cumulative value of all tokens exceeding $2 trillion for the first time. Cryptocurrency advocates will often argue that the industry is the future of money, but with multi-million percentage point gains in tokens like Shiba Inu -- which has almost no utility as a payment mechanism -- it's hard to ignore the rampant speculation that cripples the potential for widespread adoption. 

For investors seeking a little more surety in 2022, three Motley Fool contributors have selected Fiserv (FISV -0.23%), Unity Software (U 2.86%), and MongoDB (MDB 4.23%) as great options with strong growth potential to boot. 

A customer making a contactless payment to the merchant in a small goods store.

Image source: Getty Images.

Powering payments for (almost) everyone

Anthony Di Pizio (Fiserv): It's a company that operates in the shadow of more recognizable consumer-facing payment giants like Paypal Holdings and Block, but Fiserv has touch points with almost 100% of households in the U.S. It operates behind the scenes, serving businesses and financial institutions alike.

Fiserv operates in three main segments. Its innovative fintech business offers software solutions including online customer portals and administrative-related technologies to banks. Also, it provides digital payment services to help banks deliver the instant processing that customers demand. Together, these two segments serve over 10,000 financial institutions. 

But Fiserv's largest segment is merchant services, where it serves over 6 million businesses mainly through its Clover brand. It issues point-of-sale hardware solutions allowing merchants to accept credit card payments in-store, syncing with cloud-based software that records sales, refunds, and deposits to make reporting easy. 

The combination of Fiserv's businesses facilitates 1.4 billion customer accounts both directly and indirectly, processing over 12,000 financial transactions per second.



2022 (Estimate)



$5.8 billion

$16.5 billion


Earnings per share




Data sources: Fiserv, Yahoo! Finance. CAGR = compound annual growth rate.

Fiserv has been in business since 1984, it has battled many new competitors with innovative business models, and yet its enormous footprint has endured. Its stock trades at a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 16, which is 58% cheaper than the Nasdaq-100 technology index, even with incredibly strong top-line growth of 29%. 

Before you purchase the next cryptocurrency token that catches your eye, consider this: Fiserv now offers its bank clients the ability to integrate cryptocurrencies into their existing online banking services. That means customers can purchase and hold tokens with their existing bank, and for investors, that means owning Fiserv offers some exposure to the cryptocurrency industry with far less risk. 

A cheap stock with a decades-long track record of success, plus a splash of crypto exposure? Fiserv sounds like a fantastic alternative to buying cryptocurrencies outright.

A person smiling while seated at their desk playing games on a computer.

Image source: Getty Images.

A play on two growing industries

Jamie Louko (Unity Software): Before you jump head-first into cryptocurrency, it might be smart to invest in another digitally based industry: gaming. The video game industry has been on fire over the past two decades. Twenty years ago, it was worth less than $15 billion. Now, it is worth more than $159 billion and has become one of the fastest-growing media industries, with over 2.5 billion global gamers. Unity sits at the forefront of this by being the hub for game creation. Unity allows over 1.5 million video game developers to create, monetize, and operate their video games. 

Unity has been a dominant player in the gaming space. It has enabled the creation of millions of games including Among Us, one of the most popular games in the world today, with almost 500 million monthly active users in December 2021. Unity has also become a must-have product for some creators: 973 of them spend over $100,000 on Unity's services. 

I would be remiss if I did not mention one of Unity's most exciting growth opportunities: the metaverse. This new digital world will not likely be run by just one platform like Meta Platforms, but rather there could be millions of worlds created and operated by individuals. With Unity's leadership in video game creation, the company could potentially become the main metaverse creation tool as well. Unity is not profitable, but its net loss did decrease year over year and it produced $34 million in free cash flow in the third quarter. The money that is being generated could then be used to invest in this major growth opportunity.

Even without the metaverse, however, Unity's future looks bright. As a dominant leader in the massive gaming industry, Unity projects to bring in $1 billion in revenue in 2021. The gaming space will likely continue to become more prevalent, leaving Unity to capture the benefits. At 39 times sales, shares are not cheap, but they could be worth paying up for. With as much (if not more) growth opportunity and less risk than any cryptocurrency today, I think Unity should be in your portfolio before Bitcoin or Dogecoin.

An IT professional analyzing a laptop while plugged into a server.

Image source: Getty Images.

A modern database platform

Trevor Jennewine (MongoDB): At the heart of every application is a database, a place where information can be stored and retrieved. Traditionally, databases have been designed much like a spreadsheet, requiring developers to organize information into rows and columns. Unfortunately, many modern applications (e.g., streaming video, social media) create data that doesn't fit neatly into tables.

To solve that problem, MongoDB built a different kind of database. Its platform uses a document model, which formats data in a fashion that is very similar to code, rather than rows and columns. That flexibility makes the development process three to five times faster and 70% less expensive.

Of course, MongoDB is far from the only document database, but it is the most popular by a wide margin, according to DB-Engines. And that edge has translated into strong sales growth. Over the past 12 months, revenue jumped 43% to $778 million, and while the company generated negative free cash flow (FCF) of $39 million, that figure represents an improvement from the prior year. Moreover, MongoDB has a relatively strong balance sheet, with $1.8 billion in cash and short-term investments versus $1.1 billion in long-term debt. That means the company can afford to burn cash while it continues to scale its business.

On that note, software will only become more important in the years ahead, and organizations that hope to distinguish themselves must be able to build and scale applications quickly. In fact, the market for data management software will reach $121 billion by 2025, according to market research company International Data Corporation. That should be a significant tailwind for MongoDB, and the company's strong competitive position should translate into strong demand. That's why I'd buy this stock before diving into cryptocurrency.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Anthony Di Pizio has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Jamie Louko owns Block, Inc. and PayPal Holdings. Trevor Jennewine owns Block, Inc. and PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Bitcoin, Block, Inc., Meta Platforms, Inc., MongoDB, PayPal Holdings, and Unity Software Inc. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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